Author Archives: Jade Paviour-Williams

About Jade Paviour-Williams

The Director of Business Development for Ash Brook, writer, social media mogul, hard working and passionate Mom of 3!

What to consider when buying or renting industrial space

June 27th, 2013 | Posted by Jade Paviour-Williams in Commercial Property | News - (0 Comments)
pretoria offices

Businesses that require industrial space are usually in it for the long term, so the decision for the location for your industrial operations shouldn’t be made in haste. There are a number of factors to keep in mind when buying or renting industrial space. Consider the following:


The ideal location for industrial property is determined by different factors to that of commercial property or office space. Industrial property needs to be located near to various accessible modes of transport such as road, rail, ports, and airports; most of which are on the fringes of major cities and towns. However, as a business owner, you’d also want to pick a location that is easy to reach for your employees, as well as easily seen by your potential customers – property exposure and visible brand frontage is also important. It will be difficult to attract clients if your premises are too far away.


Whether buying or renting industrial property, the amount of money you need to spend on it will be directly influenced by the location. Factories and warehouses that are further away from the city centre will be cheaper to rent or buy; while industrial space closer to attractive major routes and a denser population will be more expensive to occupy. What you spend on square metres, however, you’ll save in transport and advertising costs. If your industrial building is situated next to a highway, you’ll get more branding bang for your buck because your brand will be seen daily by thousands of commuters. Don’t just accept this as a given, though; do your research and determine the average rental and purchase costs of similar industrial space in the neighbourhood to conclude that you’re getting a good price.

Modern amenities

Being in the throes of the green revolution, the age of the industrial building you want to occupy should also influence your decision to buy or rent there. Older buildings, though more economical, will tend to be less energy efficient and may cost a lot of money to “green” or retrofit. Newer buildings will be required to adhere to environmentally friendly standards and will be developed accordingly.


Business insurance will only go so far – it’s important to ensure that your industrial property has adequate security. Access control via booms, security personnel, check-in procedures and/or key-card access has become the standard for most businesses. Property fencing needs to be adequate and properly maintained, and it’s not too drastic to also sign on to armed response services in case of emergency.

Why your office space feels too small!

June 20th, 2013 | Posted by Jade Paviour-Williams in News - (0 Comments)

The size of your commercial property or leased office space may have seemed like a bargain when you signed up for 900 sqm of cubicled Utopia, but you’ve since learned that size is relative. Some office spaces just aren’t large enough for the people they contain. If your office space is filled with the following personalities, it’s no wonder you feel like you’re working in a shoebox:

1. The Closet Belieber

This person works hard, says little, and keeps to himself most of the time – the type of behaviour that says, “I don’t want you to know my dirty little secret”. However, everyone in the office can hear Justin Bieber choons blasting through his ear buds when he locks himself in a toilet cubicle to get his twice-daily Bieber Fever on. And whenever a bad word about Bieber is uttered in the general office vicinity, you could swear The Closet Belieber’s eyes tear up just a little…

2. The Delegating Delilah

Even though your office is an open-plan Pandora’s Box of daily theatrics, no one really knows what The Delegator is actually so busy with that she simply passes her work along to unfortunate victims trying not to surround her. You could be unreservedly working on closing your next big deal, with your client on a knife edge on the other end of your call, when The Delegator pops her head over your side of the cubicle with a brain-shredding, “Are you busy? I just need you to…”

3. The IT God

He saunters through the cubicles, leaving a trail of BO and Doritos crumbs in his wake. His double-chin held high, he imagines the employees (and the boss, for that matter) down on their knees, chanting his name as he passes by, heading for the server room from which he will flick a few switches, reset a few passwords, and puppeteer the lives of the people on his network. Office workers, behold his majesty!

4. The Office Trolley

Cousin to The Village Bicycle, this particular employee has been around the office more than once, and we’re not talking about when she fetches her stuff from the printer. The Office Trolley takes workplace performance to the next level, staying many late nights to finish her jobs. And where it says “minute-taking experience” on her CV, it means that when she’s in a meeting with another employee, it only takes a minute.

5. The Perfectionist Timebomb

She’s that Anonymous Grammar Nazi who corrects apostrophes on everyone’s Facebook walls; she’s the hundred-and-ten-percenter who expects everyone within a 50 m radius to absorb her perfectionist tendencies and then let them loose in their daily responsibilities and monthly reports. She makes Fortune 500 clients wait so that she can “just check this one more time” and tell them where to improve. You’re worried that her OCD gets so bad that one day she detonates the building because you forgot a period off the end of a bulleted list.

Which office personalities make your work environment feel too small? Come on, you know you want to vent about them…

Globalisation, international trade relations, and the power of the Internet mean that no business operates in isolation. If one economy trips, others will stumble; if one major corporation hits an obstacle, the smaller businesses that operate in its wake will also be affected by it. So when the 2008 recession arrived on the economic scene, it had a global impact and even badly affected the fairly independent South African economy. With less investment capital to go around, commercial trade slowed and the commercial property sector saw the end of the incredible boom period of 2001 to 2007.

During the boom, the commercial property sector recorded sky-rocketing prices, low vacancies, and massive investment influx, with investors local and abroad looking to capitalise off such a healthy market. When the 2008 recession cast a dark cloud over the international market, the South African market also suffered a major slump, with financial power receding away from the excesses of the past.

The good news for the current market is that the effects of that recession are rescinding and the market has slowly but steadily gained new ground, and a new boom period is expected in the next four to five years. The property market generally experiences a significant boom every 10 years, roughly synchronised with the 20-year boom cycles of the construction sector. With the downturn of construction operations also due to the recession, the rising activity in the commercial property sector will ensure that past recession vacancies will soon be filled; while the demand for new commercial space increases and investment can be aimed at the construction industry once again.

With that said, there is still gradual ongoing activity in construction – with new commercial developments consistently changing the landscape of the CBD’s as well as decentralised nodes in which they occur. The Cape Town CBD, Johannesburg nodes of Sandton, Rosebank, Bryanston and Midrand, as well as Durban hotspot, Umhlanga, may not be experiencing development in hyper-drive, but it is persistent, albeit a slowed-down version of the development that took place in the early part of the 21st century.

A consistent interest rate and (hopefully) sustained economic growth could mean the realisation of the anticipated commercial property sector recovery. And if history repeats itself, there will be cause for celebration as the commercial property sector reaches new highs in the mid-term – commercial players need to weather the storm and their perseverance will be rewarded.

Submitted by Jade Paviour

Area focus: Pretoria and its commercial decentralisation

April 3rd, 2013 | Posted by Jade Paviour-Williams in News - (0 Comments)


South Africa’s capital city of Pretoria (or the Tshwane Metropolitan) intersects in its multi-cultural CBD, which is filled with buildings – old and new – that show the overlap of history and architectural styles; the personality of which is represented by the people who live, work, and eke out a living in the CBD. With the Telkom buildings, law offices, and other commercial and retail tenants bringing the private sector into the CBD, the city’s aged town planning (and the lack of public parking and easy-access transport) proved to be a hindering factor in the business growth of the CBD.


While government departments make up many of the city-based tenancies, private sector companies have over the years opted for moving out of the CBD to more suitable and modern decentralised locations. There are a number of decentralised office nodes that now characterise the business environment across the greater city of Pretoria.


Arcadia and Hatfield

The suburb of Arcadia consists of many residential abodes that have been converted into commercial properties. This is also the area where many embassies are located. Office buildings and office parks are few and far between, with office buildings modestly offering 3 500sqm of office space or less. Hatfield comprises quite a bit of commercial activity, along with some of Pretoria University’s development centres. Hatfield’s vacancy rate of 6% shows stability in commercial tenancies, but the downside to this area is that there is little potential for more development.



Gaining considerable popularity over the years due to its proximity to the CBD as well as to the retail space in Brooklyn Mall, Brooklyn and its surrounding areas comprise about 160 000 sqm of luxury and A-grade office space. With a very favourable vacancy rate of 2-3%, it’s easy to see why businesses want to be in Brooklyn.


Lynnwood and Menlopark

Moving further east away from the CBD and into the residential areas of Lynnwood and Menlopark, commercial nodes in these neighbourhoods are represented by low-density office parks found on the main routes. There is increased commercial interest in this area because of the N1 highway upgrades as well as the development of the Lynnwood Bridge lifestyle centre and office park, just off the Lynnwood Road offramp. With a total of 233 000 sqm of office space and only 6.5% vacancy rate, this space will soon be in huge demand because of the limited development capacity in this primarily residential area.

DIY design tips to liven up your office

February 25th, 2013 | Posted by Jade Paviour-Williams in Commercial Property - (0 Comments)

Office desk and chair facing wall

Most people spend most of their day in an office, so it helps to not sit in a warehouse-like setup with the cold glare of buzzing fluorescents backlighting their computer screens for eight painful hours a day. Whether your office is in a Jacaranda-lined suburb in Pretoria or on a spacious Welgemoed property, your employees deserve to have their work space jazzed up so that they feel more inspired and happy while they work.

Here are some easy ways to liven up an everyday office:

1. Paint in colour!
Painting the walls of an office can completely change the vibe. Even if you don’t want to be too extreme, simply painting one wall can bring the office to life. Employees may even change their cubicle décor to suit the new office colour.

2. Install a suggestion-whiteboard
The beauty of a whiteboard is that it can be used, changed, and used again. Allow employees to make lists, take meeting notes, or simply write inspirational quotes on the whiteboard. Make it their creative space – this will get everyone contributing to the ideas board, which may even inspire the boss!

3. Get a coffee maker
If you’re the boss that everyone loves to hate, turn that all around with a coffee maker. Employees will forget that you made them work late or that performance reviews feel like purgatory – as long as they have the bitter injection of a regular latte, they’ll forgive you. Include a vending machine and you’ll almost certainly be given a “BEST BOSS EVER” mug as a joint gift from all of them.

4. Put up personal artwork
This is a great idea if you work in a creative environment. Very often, employees’ personal creativity gets side-lined in favour of clients’ creative briefs. Suggest that each office creative bring a personal artwork to the office to hang on the walls. Not only will this change the dynamic of the office, but the personalisation will make employees feel like their creativity matters.

How have you livened up your office space? Comment below and give other employers some great ideas!

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It was reported recently that the Fountainhead Property Trust negotiations on the unsolicited offer from Redefine Properties to acquire all its property assets was complete “in all material respects”, but it had extended the deadline until February 22 2013.

At the same time of this offer, Growthpoint Properties also lodged an unsolicited bid. It was decided however, by the Fountainhead’s independent committee, not to engage with Growthpoint, but deal exclusively with Redefine. This exclusivity was scheduled to expire on the 31st January 2013 if a written sale agreement had not been concluded, but this was extended to the 22nd February 2013.

Foutainhead Property Trust said the exclusivity had been extended to verify the proposed execution of sale by its’ newly appointed trustee, and that it complied with the Collective Investment Schemes Control Act and its trust deed. Fountainhead units lost 0.82% at the end of January 2013.

Commercial property in Pretoria goes under the hammer

October 24th, 2011 | Posted by Jade Paviour-Williams in Auction - (0 Comments)

Several prime Pretoria properties go up for auction on Wednesday October 27 at noon. Auction Alliance will host the event at the prestigious Hilton Hotel located at 138 Rivonia Road, Sandton.

For starters, there’s the government-tenanted commercial property on Daan De Wet Nel Road in Clarina, Pretoria North. A secure investment prospect, the property extends over an approximate GLA of 21 331m². It offers retail and office space, plus a Sasol service station with car-wash facility, right next to the Winternest Railway Station. That means it’s within easy access of main arterial routes like the R80 that lead to the central business district.

Tenants include the Department of Public Works, Sasol, Shoprite Usave and Metro Police. The property produces a gross annual income of R11 219 087,38. It accommodates plenty of parking space, which is a big plus, and incorporates retail shops, a motor vehicle workshop and offices. The loading areas are strategically situated at the eastern and western ends of the two-storey, U-shaped building.

Another income-generating commercial property in Pretoria going on auction the same day is anchored by the National Treasury until 2014. Located at 215 Vermeulen Street, it occupies 1 260m² GLA and generates a gross income of R1 343 856. The property also has reasonable access to the main arterial routes. Because it has 74 basement parking bays, it presents a lucrative option for a parking garage – plans for a four-storey facility have been drawn up.

In addition, there is an existing 104-room hotel on the corner of Visagie and Van der Walt on auction that day. To date for 2011, it has generated a gross income of R2 352 460. The location of this business property also puts it within easy access of the major highways.

As South Africa’s administrative capital, Pretoria has a reputation for operating at a slightly more measured pace than Johannesburg does just half an hour’s drive away (or less by Gautrain). It is famous for its jacaranda tree-lined avenues as well as its historic monuments.

FNB Menlyn Headquarters set a record for Commercial Property in Pretoria

October 19th, 2011 | Posted by Jade Paviour-Williams in For Rent | For Sale - (0 Comments)

First National Bank has completed the construction of its ground breaking regional head offices based in Melyn, Pretoria. The commercial construction project cost a staggering R355 million and will house the various FNB and Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) divisions presently dispersed around the city. The building is owned by both FNB and Growthpoint under the same sectional title scheme.

FNB will occupy the 15 080 metre square office block where its sectional title partner Growthpoint will move into a 9 880 metre square office space. Both respective buildings boast a super basement parking comprising four levels. The general building consists of a ground level and 5 level office space which can carry 840 people.

FNB’s commercial property in Pretoria exceeded the criteria for office space construction, boasting raised access floors for flexible voice, data, power reticulations as well as power back-ups for emergencies.

In keeping with environmental “green” standards for commercial property; air-conditioning and lighting installations have been implemented. The new headquarters satisfyingly adhere to recognised standards for environmental and safety operational criteria – incorporating global practices such as water reutilisation and energy efficiency.

This record breaking commercial property is a further investment to the city of Tshwane; an economic enhancement that in its own right establishes the metropolitan district as a commercial node rivalling those thriving elsewhere in the country.

Tshwane recently enjoyed a revamped airport, a six lane road system between Johannesburg and Pretoria, as well as a landmark in the Gautrain infrastructure. Tshwane’s developments secure a healthy flow of investment both domestically and internationally in the tourism, construction and commerce sectors.

FNB’s Pretoria headquarters are greatly contributing to job creation. Both in the sense of the construction works carried out and the support of maintenance staff that will be required and commissioned for the office block’s upkeep.

Boogertman & Partners provided the architectural design of this A-prime commercial property development with Steffanuti Stocks being credited as a principal contractor. Operations will commence from as early as February 2012 which is when the staff are expected to occupy the premises.

The emergence of new commercial property to rent in Pretoria

October 19th, 2011 | Posted by Jade Paviour-Williams in For Rent - (0 Comments)

There are talks of a colossal commercial structure taking shape in Pretoria. With office space of 4136 metre square proportions and this is only phase 1 of four phases plan scheduled to be complete in the year 2013.

This gradual sprawling mega-structure is coined The Club and will soon be home to trendy restaurants such as Cafe 84. Made available for commercial leasing and renting, think of it as a retail Mecca.

Enjoying a significant setting which is effortlessly accessible to Waterklooof and Brooklyn suburbs, this multi-purposed building is capturing the imagination of “would-be” property investors, businesses – both large and small – as well as prospective employees. This 3 floor building is already anticipated to be one of the most ideal office spaces to work in, by many Pretoria property pundits.

As you are reading this, phase one is operating and has been well underway since August 2011. Phase two of this property to rent in Pretoria is currently in progress and also bears mixed-use qualities; conducive for corporate tenanting, and open plan in-door outdoor restaurants. With regards to phase three however, consisting of a full refurbishment of the existing building. An extra floor will be added to the building with open atriums created to admit natural light from the outside. If all goes according to schedule, this phase could be fully operational and occupied by as early as March 2012.

Phase four will see the entire shopping precinct being redeveloped to accommodate high-end retail stores. This latter project will span 400 meter squares; it will also be the location of a premier food anchor in addition to being dubbed the fashion quarters of the complex.


Refurbished office block in Hatfield

October 19th, 2011 | Posted by Jade Paviour-Williams in For Rent - (0 Comments)

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